Although it is possible to establish that some geographical areas are more at threat from deforestation than others, it is very difficult to identify exactly who is going to deforest in a given period of time. This means that payments for ´not deforesting´ would have to be given to far more forest owners than would, in reality, have deforested. Given also the relatively high opportunity costs of deforestation, this would result in low cost efficiency. Moreover, any such payments would likely result in leakage, as demand for pasture or agricultural land would simply shift to other locations.
Although PES may be part of the solution under REDD+, it does not address the causes of deforestation. Given the relatively high opportunity costs of deforestation, well-enforced command and control mechanisms may be a long run solution to reducing it. Dealing with the lack of coherence between agricultural policies (which often promote clearance) and environmental policies (which aim to reduce deforestation) at the local level and at the national and regional level would be a major step forward, but sectoral autonomy is a political reality and reaching agreement between institutions may be a challenge.
This message is the second of 8 key messages from the WOTROMEX programme. The case study area is the Ayuquila Basin in western Jalisco, which is a REDD+ Early Action Area under the Mexican national strategy for REDD+. WOTROMEX is supported by the Netherlands Science for Global Development Programme (NWO-WOTRO) and has been carried out by CIGA-UNAM together with the University of Twente, the Netherlands